Let’s talk about the MOST IMPORTANT question if you’re serious about growing your practice.
If you know the answer to the question below, you’re on your way to building a thriving, successful practice.
A 7 to 8 figure cosmetic surgery empire.
If you don’t know the answer to that question, you probably built your business on the back of a “happy coincidence”.
The number of patients you see probably swings from one extreme to another depending on the time of year.
You’re too busy either to take any time off with your family, or you’re sitting at your office, twiddling your thumbs and waiting for that “new patient” — the one that was supposed to show up for her first in-office consultation 45 minutes ago.
At this moment in time, your practice is unscalable.
Worse than that, it’s unpredictable and unstable. It doesn’t let you make plans and grow because you can’t anticipate from where the next patient will come.
You’ll never be able to break the eight-figure mark because you don’t know the answer to this ONE crucial question: Exactly how much does it cost you to book a new-patient consultation?
Real world case study
Here are some numbers from one of my current clients.
On average, he receives 50 phone calls a week from prospects looking to book a surgical consultation for breast augmentation. Of the 50 phone calls, 92.4% are serious, qualified leads, and his clinic on average books 42.4 “in-office initial consultations” a week.
Yes, that’s NOT a typo. 50 phone calls a week from pre-qualified, pre-sold prospects, and 42 in-office consultation a week.
It took us about 6 months to help him create a marketing funnel that positioned him as the leading authority. The most sought-after expert on breast augmentation for the Toronto area. This process allowed us to figure out exactly how much it costs him to book a new patient consultation.
We also had to work with his front desk receptionist for another two months to create a unique “patient-centric” phone script that helps screen out tire-kickers (i.e. the bane of my existence). It helps answer the most commonly asked questions from prospects.
That’s one of the contributing factors that let him book more consults than he needs to have a waiting list of patients and a 100% full schedule of consultations.
Booking the consultation is only half of the battle.
We send prospective patients a series of emails, text messages, and voice follow-ups, so they’ll show up to their appointment.
By going through this process, 98% of the leads arrive on time, eager and ready to speak with my client. They’re convinced that he’s the best, and only, choice for the surgical procedure before they’ve even spoken to him!
All of this was possible because we helped him figure out his “magic number.”
Thanks to the funnel and the phone script we created, he now knows exactly how much it cost for him to book an in-office consultation.
That number gives him the clarity and control to know precisely where, when, and how to spend his marketing budget. It gives him freedom, and peace of mind, knowing every dollar he spends on advertising will bring him much more than a dollar back.
Enough about him, this is about you and your practice.
If you don’t know your magic number, you have absolutely no idea how much it cost you to book an initial consultation.
If you can’t tell me how many new leads you’re getting a week, or where these leads are coming from, it’s not unusual.
It is NOT your fault.
The reason you’re being left in the dark, unable to have a stable predictable and wildly successful clinic, is most likely because you’re making one or more of the 9 COSTLY marketing mistake commonly made by plastic surgeons.
The good news is that as long as you can identify which of these mistakes you’re making, you too will be able to figure out your “magic number.”
You can be on your way to building your very own 7 figure (or 8 figure like my client) cosmetic and plastic surgery empire.
I went through 4 of these mistakes in my previous post already. You can find the post here.
Those were the fundamentals. Fixing those mistakes will allow you to start positioning yourself as the most sought-after surgeon in your area.
Now that you know what you’re doing wrong, it’s very tempting to want to jump right in and start “fixing” things.
That’s when you’ll fall into the “trap” and make your next fatal mistake. Make sure you read the rest of this carefully if you want to avoid losing money on marketing and advertising.
[Mistake #5] Equating Activity With Progress
I see this over and over. It’s how most marketing, consulting, SEO and design companies sell their services. They give you a set of activities that they’re going to perform. It can range from everything from redesigning your website and posting on Facebook once or twice a day to the numbers of links they’ll build for you weekly. It’s usually presented as a nice mindmap or large list of activities. You feel good because you get to see all the stuff you’re going to get people to do in exchange for your cash. You feel great because you know that people are “working” for the money.
Activity DOES NOT equal progress.
If you’re paying attention to how much your staff or contractors are doing, you’re paying attention to the wrong metrics. It’s not about the level of activity; it’s about results. If what you’re doing doesn’t rank your site higher in search engines and doesn’t convert more prospects to paying patients, which ultimately puts more money in your bank account, you’re doing the wrong things.
Running around in a circle doesn’t mean you’re taking a single step forward.
All your efforts and metrics should be designed to move your business forward, not make you feel like someone else is doing something. Thinking you’re getting value for your money doesn’t mean you are. It just means you were well sold and managed.
When I walk into most practices and evaluate their efforts, it always reminds me of my time as a young boy. When I was growing up, I’d watch my grandparents kill a chicken for dinner. They would grab a chicken from the yard and quickly sever the head off with a knife. The chicken would then thrash around the yard for what seemed like 30 minutes to me at the time until it exhausted all its blood and effort. It was then ready for plucking and cooking.
Most practices are no different. They stick their neck out unwittingly and put their fate in the hands of a marketing amateur with a good portfolio, featuring other chickens he’s plucked.
These practices soon find themselves expending tremendous effort in accomplishing no meaningful action. Their thrashing around doesn’t save their failing practice. They put their faith in the hands of a butcher. It pains me to see so many in my profession with so little knowledge and understanding of what marketing and the internet are about. Computers have leveled the playing field, but they’ve also lowered the bar.
Whatever you’re doing, stop. Take a look at your activity and ask yourself if it has made a meaningful difference in your business — and I’m not talking about the modest growth you can expect in most practices over time. I use the word “meaningful” very deliberately. Are your efforts having a life-changing, transforming effect on your practice? Are they propelling you to the head of the industry in your city? If the answer is no, you’re probably equating activity with progress. You need to stop and focus on the things that move you forward.
[Mistake #4] Changing for the Sake of Changing (The Wet Noodle Method)
One of my clients had a simple strategy for his advertising. He just changed things all the time. He rarely ran the same ad twice. There was no overriding strategy other than change. He had no reason for doing it other than a gut instinct that it needed to be done.
His biggest problem was that he didn’t test. He didn’t have a way to gauge how much business was coming in from which advertising vehicle. He just lumped everything together and hoped for the best. The problem with that kind of thinking is that you’re very likely to kill a profitable marketing vehicle instead of an underperforming one. If you’re not testing and tracking, you have ZERO idea of what’s working and what’s not working.
John Wanamaker was a wealthy merchant, considered, by some, to be the father of modern advertising. He’s famous for the following saying: “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.”
In today’s day and age of custom and recordable phone numbers, instant advertising testing on Google, split testing software and more, there is absolutely no reason to operate with the kind of ignorance my past client did. It’s unfortunate for him that he didn’t listen and change his ways. But I learned long ago that I cannot, and should not, care more about a client’s business than they do.
So here’s that critical question for you once again: Exactly how much does it cost you to book a new patient consultation?
If you don’t know your “magic number”, there’s NO CHANCE of you coming up with a comprehensive strategy and step-by-step plan to move your business forward. Most, if not all, the things you’re doing to grow your practice will end up being busy-work that leads nowhere.
You know what I’m saying is true because with all the time, money, and effort you’ve spent on marketing and advertising, your schedule is still half empty, and you’re still far from making the type of money you know you deserve to be making.
Stop equating activity with progress. Stop changing for the sake of changing.
Remember the client I shared with you earlier, the one who received 50 new patient phone calls a week and booked 42.4 initially consultations a week?
He was just like you when we first started with him.
He had no clue what his “magic number” was.
When we first spoke, he couldn’t even tell me how many new patients phone call he received on a weekly basis.
Today, he knows what it costs him to book one initial consultation, and roughly 70% of consultations will turn into a $8,000 surgical procedure.
To him, it means that for every dollar spent on marketing and advertising, he brings ten dollars back.
The challenge he’s facing now is not from where his next patient and procedure is going to come. The challenge is managing growth.
Business growth can be a blessing and a curse
Let me tell you this; when you quadruple your business in 12 months, it’s not all roses.
I can’t tell you how many times we got calls from his receptionists asking us to turn the traffic off because they reached full capacity.
The waiting list for an initial consultation to see my client was getting so long, prospects are putting down $1,000 non-refundable surgery deposits so that they can jump the queue and see him earlier.
It’s a problem, but it’s a fun problem to deal with.
It all started because we helped him figure out his “magic number”.
There are three more COSTLY marketing mistakes made by plastic surgeons. This post is getting long so I won’t share them with you yet. You have some homework to do.
Before I tell you what the last three mistakes are, you need to figure out your magic number. It will unlock many doors and opportunity for you. You’ll make the most of the next three mistakes if you take this week to work on that figure.
If you need help, or if you are not happy with your numbers, reach out to me. I’d love to hear from you and see what I can do for you.
Thanks for hanging out. Make sure you check back next week. I’ll be unveiling (yeah, that’s a big word because they are that important) the TOP 3 COSTLY marketing mistakes you’re making.
Until then, go figure out your magic number and we’ll talk soon.